Firestone 600 red flagged for rain on Lap 71 for rain

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FORT WORTH – The Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway has been red flagged for rain on Lap 71 due to rain.

The race currently lists James Hinchcliffe as the leader ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mikhail Aleshin, Will Power and Ed Carpenter.

Carlos Munoz has led 37 laps after starting on the pole.

The race was under caution from Lap 43 to Lap 71 after a hard crash involving Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly.

Newgarden has been taken by air to Parkland Memorial Hospital for evaluation of his right shoulder and right hand.

The race was originally set to start Saturday night at 7:40 p.m. ET, but struggles to dry the track forced it to Sunday.

“It’s been a very frustrating weekend,” track president Eddie Gossage told CNBC. “When it stops raining, we’ll keep trying.”

A further update came from INDYCAR president of competition and operations, Jay Frye, to CNBC. Frye reiterated the desire to get the race at least to halfway tonight:

“Obviously we worked to where we were. The sky’s clearing and getting brighter. We’ll see what we can do for tonight.

“We fought the humidity last night. Today not as hot as humid. We’re not halfway yet so it’s not a complete race. Restart at some point, hopefully tonight.

“We need to make every attempt to get the race in tonight. We started at 5 p.m. last night. It’s not 5 p.m. yet. We’ll give it our best shot.

“There’s different thoughts. There’s four or five different scenarios. Hopefully, we’ll get it going tonight.”

Frye also said he thought the safety and car did what it supposed to do in Josef Newgarden’s earlier accident with Conor Daly.

“Safety is number one concern with our competitors. The car did what it was supposed to do. SAFER barriers did what they were supposed to do. He was alert, conscious, he appears to be in good shape.”

Check back for more.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.